Jamie Dornan’s renowned obstetrician father dies aged 73

David Young, PA
·3-min read

Tributes have been paid to Professor Jim Dornan, a leading obstetrician and father of Hollywood actor Jamie, who has died aged 73.

Prof Dornan was a renowned specialist in obstetrics and gynaecological medicine in Northern Ireland and abroad.

A charity he worked with had last week reported that he was battling Covid-19.

The retired father of three from Co Down is survived by wife Samina, son Jamie and daughters Jessica and Liesa.

Jamie Dornan interview
Jamie Dornan, right, with his sister Jessica Dornan Lynas and father Jim Dornan during the pancreatic cancer charity NIPanC launch at the Mater Hospital in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

It is understood he died in the United Arab Emirates.

He was a respected lecturer and had held senior positions with both Queen’s University and Ulster University in Northern Ireland.

Prof Dornan’s first wife Lorna died from pancreatic cancer 20 years ago.

He was heavily involved in raising awareness about the disease and was president of the NIPANC charity.

The charity hailed him as an “inspiration” who “lived a life of public service”.

Its chairman Ivan McMinn said: “Jim was someone who was full of energy and life. He had experienced the tragic loss of Lorna, his first wife, to pancreatic cancer in 1998 and both encouraged and supported us in setting up NIPANC to promote awareness and help other families going through the same terrible experience.

“Jim was an outstanding clinician who was respected and highly regarded across the globe. But he also understood the importance of appreciating the human side of medicine, something which we experienced direct in working with him at NIPANC. He was an inspiration to us all.”

Stormont deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill paid tribute.

“Very sad news this morning of the passing of Prof Jim Dornan,” she tweeted.

“A man very well respected throughout the community and across the medical profession. My thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

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DUP MP Ian Paisley described Prof Dornan as a “wonderful man”.

“Above all he loved Northern Ireland and was so proud of this place,” he said.

“His ambition, expressed often to me, was to see Northern Ireland and its people flourish and be the best. No obstacle was ever insurmountable for him and he was a great source of encouragement.

“I will miss our many chats and text messages and his ability to challenge and encourage change.”

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said: “I was very saddened and shocked to hear this news.

“My deepest condolences go to his family and many friends.

“Professor Dornan made an immense contribution to obstetrics and fetomaternal medicine. He held a number of significant and important leadership roles in the health service both in Northern Ireland and nationally.

“I trust his family will take some comfort from the lasting legacy he leaves behind, and the esteem in which he was held by so many people at home and abroad.”